Shannon McNeair

When you meet Shannon McNeair, you first and foremost meet a mother, an Indigenous woman, a community member, and then a psychologist.

Shannon, a Malgana woman originally from Shark Bay (Gathagudda) in Western Australia, works hard to make a difference in supporting Indigenous people to live “enjoyable, functional and thriving lives” through her newly established psychology practice, McNeair Aboriginal Psychological Services (McNeair APS).

In line with our women’s economic development strategy, FAC has provided seed investment into McNeair APS. To support the business’s establishment and early-stage growth strategy.

Where it all began

Shannon’s journey began in Geraldton, where she grew up in humble beginnings. As a single mother of two sons, Shannon has successfully managed her career while juggling work and study, determined to succeed personally and professionally.

After completing her High School certificate, Shannon served as a police officer for seven years until she became pregnant with her first child. Then, she decided she wanted to do more with her life for her child’s sake.

“I needed to support this little baby, and with no real career development, plus having negative interactions with people all the time, I decided to leave,” she said. “I never saw having kids as something that stopped me from doing things. It motivated me to do everything because I wanted a good life for my kids. I knew I was the only single-parent provider, and it just went from there.”

Motivated by her new pregnancy, Shannon followed her mother’s advice and pursued a bachelor’s degree in psychology, followed by a post-doctorate and the birth of her second child.

After graduating, Shannon began her work in the government sector. Shannon has spent most of her career providing psychological services to communities in the Pilbara and Gascoyne areas through the  Department of Communities & Protection (DCP). Her experience encompasses psychological assessment, intervention, consultation, and treatment planning for individuals and families dealing with various psychological issues, including disabilities, complex trauma, mental health disorders, and challenging behavioural issues.

“I ended up signing up with DCP, and I went up north to Pilbara as a district psychologist in Child Protection,” she said. “It was the greatest learning experience of my career and the best thing I ever did for my family. I learnt so much in that role, mostly about the impact of child removal.”

McNeair – Aboriginal Psychology Services

As a highly experienced and respected Registered Psychologist, Shannon aims to prioritise delivering psychological services to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs). She is also an AHPRA board-approved supervisor for Provisional Psychologists and a member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Now in her own private practice, Shannon specialises in working with ACCOs, McNeair APS recently established a service agreement with the Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service (GRAMS) until March 2024, providing psychological services to her local community.

Shannon is based in Geraldton but provides services to metro, rural, and remote areas of Western Australia. However, she travels to meet Indigenous clients face-to-face in their communities as needed.

Shannon prioritises cultural safety and is responsive to the specific needs of the Indigenous communities she serves. A key element of her business model includes visiting clients in their communities, rather than expecting them to leave their support networks.

Through her business, Shannon believes, “I can fill that gap and provide direct services to those who need it, sharing my knowledge and life experiences,” she said. “Something I would not have been able to do if I did not take care of my business first. For me, it is about being a model person, citizen, and parent in an Aboriginal community.”

Shannon’s clinic offers numerous services, including assessments, supervision, consultations, Employee Assistance Programs, and therapy hubs.

Shannon takes pride in raising her two sons as a single mother, with the unwavering support of her brother, Sean McNeair, who has constantly supported her and her sons. Shannon would also like to acknowledge the invaluable support and guidance from her Aunt Raylene Bullotte and her accountant, Anthony Dyson from Origin Mob, who made her dream a reality by assisting Shannon in the foundation of her psychology business.

“When someone believes in you and what you do, just like you guys did at FAC, the level of confidence you gain in immeasurable.”

To learn more about her services visit her website here.